How to Choose the Outdoor Furniture?
When the sun is shining and you have outdoor space, there are few things better than spending long, lazy days outdoors, soaking up the heat and dining in.
If you don't have that much space - for example on a city terrace - decide on the activities you value most. If you like to cook and entertain, focus on turning your outdoor space into a place to eat, with a dining table and chairs. If you like to relax with family and friends, then forget the dining table and create an outdoor living room with a sofa.
When you buy furniture, choose materials and furnishings that are easy to care for to complement your landscape and the feel of your home. There are many options.
Natural wood is strong and comfortable but requires regular maintenance and preservative treatment to protect against the elements and UV rays. Choose weather-resistant woods that require less maintenance, such as mahogany, teak, cedar and cypress.
Rattan and wicker. Natural materials such as rattan and wicker provide a casual and comfortable look to your deck but require weatherproofing every few years. Synthetic rattan and wicker have a resin finish and last longer.
Steel and wrought iron. Both of these materials are very strong but require cushioning for comfort. They are ideal for outdoor use but will need regular painting or weatherproofing to prevent rusting.
Aluminium, plastic and PVC. these materials are rust-proof, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to maintain with a little soap and water. However, due to their lightweight construction, they may need to be secured in strong winds and storms.
Furniture made from these materials will look fresh for many years. However, no matter how weatherproof the furniture is, you will want to store it over the winter to prolong its life. Think about your storage space before you buy. Also, try it out before you buy - sit on a chair and try putting the umbrella up and down once or twice. Make sure you like the comfort and usability.
Make sure it's good quality
When shopping, don't assume that price is the best indicator of quality. So how do you judge the appearance of quality furniture?
Finish consistency. Wood should be smoothly sanded and free of imperfections, even in hidden areas such as the underside of table tops. Painted metal should have an even finish. The wicker should not come apart or be loosely wrapped around the frame.
Joints that are tight and fit well. Metal welds should be fairly smooth. Make sure there are no bare, unpainted areas of metal or, worse, no rust spots.
Make sure the chair does not wobble or bend too much (some flexibility is possible, especially on a tubular metal chair designed to be flexible). Do the same thing to the table once it's assembled.
Retailers' return and exchange policies. Just in case, on delivery or collection, your piece looks damaged or poorly finished.
As with indoor living spaces, outdoor living spaces are greatly enhanced by a variety of colours, textures and accessories. Cushions and pillows provide excellent comfort for relaxing and encourage guests to linger. Buy products made specifically for outdoor use so that they support these elements well. Two popular material choices are solution dyed acrylic and spun polyester as they are resistant to moisture, mildew and stains.
Most fabrics designed for outdoor use are also resistant to fading. Mats with ventilation holes will dry more quickly after spring and summer showers. You can add a rug suitable for outdoor use to create an extra comfortable retreat. When choosing colour tastes, personal style and preference reign supreme. Bright, colourful patterns will complement Mediterranean-themed landscapes and liven up evenings on the patio, while neutral, muted tones create a relaxed, clean look.
Good outdoor furniture is an investment. Take the time to weigh up the various materials and products available so you can enjoy the comfort and beauty of the outdoor room you've created.